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990295 Posts in 66024 Topics- by 16363 Members - Latest Member: victorruan360
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1  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Yesterday at 07:31 PM
That's going to be one for the lawyers. Receiving cost reimbursement is not the same as selling.
2  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 29, 2015, 04:31AM
Absolutely, and, no where in any of this has anybody claimed that PP has done anything illegal. It is ACORN all over again.
3  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 28, 2015, 06:44PM
Hmmmm...........
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/us/abortion-planned-parenthood-videos.html?_r=0
4  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 28, 2015, 06:40PM
I will have to go back and look, That is not what I have seen reported. It would not be the first time I have misread something.
5  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 28, 2015, 06:03AM
Planned Parenthood

Conservatives have little, or no, ethics when it comes to undermining the activities of organizations they do not like. In 2009-2010 a series of wildly inaccurate and selectively edited “hidden camera expose’s” were used to create a false sense of outrage against the community activist group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform, commonly referred to as ACORN.

ACORN provided much needed support services to disadvantaged communities all over the US, as well as in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, and Peru. Their activities included work in areas such as neighborhood safety, affordable housing, and health care.
 
But, what put ACORN in the crosshairs of the right wing was their voter registration activities. Voter suppression is a key to any success the GOP can hope to achieve, so ACORN had to go. Based on the fabricated, salacious videos, and later disproven accusations of voter registration fraud, the GOP Congress defunded ACORN and it went away.

A much needed, productive community asset that was non-governmental was scuttled for purely political motives. Our country is lesser for the loss of ACORN.

And, now we see the right up to its old tricks again in their efforts to do away with another non-governmental agency that provides critical services to members of disadvantaged communities. Once again we see the fabricated, massively misleading and edited videos being used as a weapon. This time the target is Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has to go because their organization is one of the few that provides abortion services to women in disadvantaged communities. It is irrelevant to the opponents of PP that these services are a miniscule portion of the good PP does in these communities.

In their “pro-life” zealotry, opponents of PP would deny these women access to many life saving and enhancing services. For an enormous number of women in this country, PP provides their ONLY access to cancer screenings, mammograms, contraception, and a plethora of other medical treatments.

The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine has scathing words for the fanatics behind these videos….

 “The contraception services that Planned Parenthood delivers may be the single greatest effort to prevent the unwanted pregnancies that result in abortions…..
We are outraged by those who debase these women, this work, and Planned Parenthood by distorting the facts for political ends.”

It is willful ignorance to ignore the complete lack of ethics or morals exhibited by those responsible for the videos.
6  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 21, 2015, 05:24AM
GOODBYE, JIMMY......
Americans are getting a chance to say goodbye. In a heart-warming and classy press conference yesterday, President Jimmy Carter told us about his advanced cancer and his expected course of treatment. At age 91, he is realistic about his prognosis, and, as a man of deep faith, is at peace with his fate.

The Carter Presidency is one that garners vastly different memories depending on who is doing the remembering. Massive upheaval in the world at the time make his administration an easy target for those with a propaganda axe to grind, and they have taken full advantage of it, claiming the Carter Presidency to be “worst of all time”.

In actuality, Carter was a decent, middle of the pack President who had the vast misfortune to be in office when the people of Iran had had enough of the puppet Shah the US had installed there after we overthrew their democratically elected leader and when the OPEC countries decided to throw off the yoke of American Industrial Imperialism.

The upheavals of those geopolitical earthquakes caused economic chaos throughout the world, and resulted in the double digit inflation and interest rates that, along with Ted Kennedy’s splitting of the Democrat Party, doomed his re-election bid. They obscure many of the positive things that came out of Carter’s time in office.

Since WWII, only LBJ created a higher percentage of jobs in a single term than did Carter. It was Carter who established diplomatic ties with China after Nixon had opened a dialog. It was Jimmy Carter who brokered a peace deal between Israel and Egypt that remains intact to this day. And, for better or worse, it was Carter who started the wave of de-regulation that Reagan gave steroids and has led to so much of the economic disruption we are dealing with today.

But, it is his post-Presidency that has most defined who James Earl Carter really is, and how he will be remembered. A devout Christian who walks the walk, he will be remembered as a peace maker who has spent the last 1/3 of a century fighting for the causes of truth, justice, and the American Way (apologies to Superman).

Jimmy Carter has, in all aspects of his life, given the American people a crystal clear role model of what it means to be an American. We should be deeply thankful to this good and honorable man.
7  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 17, 2015, 08:05AM
"Early removal" meant to remove our troops before Iraq could keep the situation stable. Obviously, Bush was dead on right.

Then why the FRAK did he negotiate and sign the agreement promising to leave? He screwed up everything he touched except AIDS in Africa.
8  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 16, 2015, 05:22AM
Obama only did what he was committed to do by W. It was W who negotiated, for over 2 years, the Status of Forces Agreement that required that we leave completely at the end of 2011. It is amazingly arrogant to claim that Obama should have gone back and negotiated a "better deal" when W and the neocons had so royally screwed things up. THey did make efforts to re-negotiate, but it was clear the Iraqis wanted us GONE, and didn't want the door to hit us in the butt on our way out. To believe otherwise is to ignore reality. We could have stayed had we agreed to allow US Servicemen to be subject to Iraqi law and prosecution for their activities in a war zone. THat was not something ANY AMerican President could agree to. Had we stayed it would have been as an unwelcome occupying army.
9  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 14, 2015, 05:31AM
JEB'S REVISIONISM
Jeb Bush is attempting to re-write history in his efforts to distance himself from the damage and destruction wrought on the world by his brother’s regime. In Iowa this week he has refused to rule out torture should he be elected, and is pushing the absurdity that ISIS and the ongoing travails in Iraq can be laid at the feet of President Obama and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

Both of these positions run counter to reality, but will resonate with the low-information voters who make up the bulk of GOP primary electorate. An exhaustive Senate report on so-called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”, issued last year, determined the techniques were used far more broadly than was ever admitted, and that they did not result in actionable intelligence that resulted in the saving of lives. Still, Jeb will not rule out resorting to them again in the future.

Equally troubling are his efforts at revisionism on the current situation in Iraq. He would have us believe Iraq is in the condition it is because President Obama and Sec. State Clinton abandoned Iraq, unilaterally pulling US troops out and creating a vacuum later filled by ISIS. This is bovine excrement of the highest order.

Virtually the entire ISIS leadership consists of former Iraqi army officers who were cut loose and disenfranchised when Paul Bremmer, W’’s man in Baghdad, disbanded the Iraqi army and de-Baathicised the Iraqi government. When W’s hand-picked Shiite leader excluded Sunnis from the reformed Iraqi government, those former Iraqi military chiefs had nowhere else to go. That is what formed ISIS. Obama had NO PART in that fiasco.

Jeb’s revision also excludes the FACT that it was his brother who negotiated (for over 2 years), and signed,  the Status of Forces agreement that led to all American forces leaving Iraq at the end of 2011. At that point all the Iraqis wanted was us GONE. It is arrogance of the highest order, as it is in the ongoing Iran discussions, to say, “well, we should have just negotiated a better deal”. The ONLY way we could have stayed in Iraq was as an unwelcome, occupying army.

Jeb is stuck with the horrible legacy his brother created in that part of the world. His revisionist efforts to pin the blame on Obama and Clinton will not work on the informed electorate of a general election.

Nice try, but no cigar, Jeb.
10  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Thoughts on Bernie Sanders on: Aug 09, 2015, 05:58AM
I suppose that is a legitimate question. He is four years older than Reagan was when he ran, and he was a senile old man with dementia long before he left office. Bernie seems to be in good health and also seems to thrive on the stress of his current office. I'm not letting it be a determining factor in my opinion because he is SSOOO many orders of magnitude preferable to anybody else in the field, on either side. If that is his worst downside, I'l take it.
11  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 08, 2015, 05:54AM
After reading all of the comments ... I guess I had better not chime in ... it would either upset most all or I would be forever banned from the site ...

Garry-

Jump on in, the water's fine. Dialogue is a good thing as long as you can disagree without being disagreeable.
12  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Big Game Hunting on: Aug 08, 2015, 05:50AM
Doesn't sound too sporting to me. I had a great conversation about this issue last night with a friend from South Africa. He is adamant that the Africans involved should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but gives a pass to the American who thought he had acquired the proper and necessary permits. I still question that, but am willing to concede the possibility he was merely ignorant and naive. He is solid that everything about this hunt violated every tenet of legit big game hunting. THat said, my friend makes a very strong, counter-intuitive point that big game hunting is the only thing that is keeping the large game from going extinct. Because of the money the hunting brings into local economies the villagers are motivated to breed and protect (obviously from a stand off distance I would assume) these species. Minus this economic stimulus the animals would have already been poached out of existance. It's a persuasive argument, and so long as conscious management is part of the process. I can see the point. We may no longer be hunter-gatherers, but it is a part of our DNA. I don't, personally, see the sport in hunting soomething you are not going to eat, but I am not ready to deny other folks their belief that it is.
13  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Thoughts on Bernie Sanders on: Aug 07, 2015, 10:58AM
Nicely done!
14  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 07, 2015, 05:41AM
This week's column;

The "Debate"

I awoke this morning with a bad taste in my mouth. We cancelled cable TV almost a decade ago, so I didn’t watch last night’s GOP 2016 Presidential debate. But, I did listen to it on radio. I can honestly say it lived down to my expectations.

While there were a smattering of actual policy and position comments made, the bulk of the “Political Reality Show” vacillated between vacuous and vapid, a satirical parody of the interviews in a high school beauty pageant somewhere in Appalachia and a commercial for the World Wrestling Entertainment network. It fed red meat to the far right fringe of the GOP base, but did little, if anything, to let informed American voters know where the candidates stood on any but a small, predictable set of issues.

We heard plenty about the “War on Women”, the “War on Immigration”, the “War on Gender Equality”, the “War on Iran”, and the “War on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid”. But we heard little or nothing about many of the issues that are most important to a majority of Americans.

We heard plenty about “building a wall”, but nothing about what to do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants already here. There was no serious mention or discussion of the “Black Lives Matter” movement or the parallel issue of mass incarceration. Not one word about climate change, income inequality, access to quality education, our crumbling infrastructure, or a campaign finance system run amok, etc.

The candidates, for the most part, played their roles as cast. Trump was the bombastic figurehead he was expected to be. Bush continued his bumbling stumble towards the nomination. Huckabee continues to show himself to be the candidate of the American Taliban.

If there were winners of the night, they were Carly Fiorina in the early “Happy Hour” forum, and Marco Rubio and John Kasich in the main event. All three showed gravitas, and levelheaded pragmatism as all about them others were losing their minds.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Sen. Chuck Schumer caved to AIPAC and the radical Jewish lobby and announced he would be voting against President Obama and the Iran Deal. He did so without answering the President’s challenge to all who oppose the deal. He offered no alternative that could possibly result in a better outcome.

It appears the hawks are going to get the war they want so badly.
15  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Thoughts on Bernie Sanders on: Aug 06, 2015, 12:25PM
Corporations are legal constructs used to avoid accountability and liability??? No.

Oops, I left out the word "personal" accountability and liability.
16  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Thoughts on Bernie Sanders on: Aug 06, 2015, 11:10AM
The Soviets defeated themselves. Reagan just did the grandstanding after they self-goaled.
17  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Thoughts on Bernie Sanders on: Aug 06, 2015, 11:09AM
I have no problem what so ever with the idea of doing away with corporate taxes altogether, with some significant caveats. First of all, I am of the belief that, no matter how hard Conservatives preach it, corporations ARE NOT people. Corporations are legal constructs used to avoid accountability and liability. If one could insure that EVERY SINGLE PENNY a corporation paid to EVERY SINGLE employee, share holder, and board member, including things like travel, housing, transportation, wages, dividends, etc., etc., etc. was accounted for and taxed to the individual, then the corpoate tax becomes superfluous. It should be people that pay taxes.
18  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Thoughts on Bernie Sanders on: Aug 06, 2015, 10:53AM
Golden Showers? Is that an original?
Without Reagan the soviet union would not have collapsed. The economy would not have taken off. The military would not be as strong.
Where are your references for "Fully 1/4 of major corporations based in the USA have paid ZERO, or less (some gt rebates on taxes they haven't paid), Federal taxes for years now."?
Please.  No blogs or loony left publications.

Yes, it is. I think it is a pretty accurate description of the voodoo, trickle-down disaster we have been having rained on us since Reagan, despite 30+ years of proof it doesn't work.
The Soviet Union collapsed because they bankrupted themselve in Afghanistan. Reagan had the great fortune to be in office when that happened. He deserves no more credit for that than Carter does for having the vast misfortune to have been in office when the OPEC nations decided to throw off the yoke of American Industrial Imperialism.
I realize googling is a challenge for someone as busy as you are, so here's one source among thousands. Of course I realize anything to the left of Breitbart is considererd to be "loony left" in the echo chamber.

Oh, and BTW, welcome back. I don't agree with you on much of anything, but dialog is never a bad thing for understanding.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/report-26-us-companies-negative-average-federal-income/story?id=16111671

And, here's a betteer one:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/sep/26/bernie-s/sanders-one-out-four-corporations-pay-no-taxes/

AS with all things statistical, a lot of your interpretation depends on the angle from which you are looking at them.
19  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Thoughts on Bernie Sanders on: Aug 06, 2015, 08:44AM
Fully 1/4 of major corporations based in the USA have paid ZERO, or less (some gt rebates on taxes they haven't paid), Federal taxes for years now. Our tax code is as big a disaster as "Golden Showers" Reaganomics has been. They are reflections of each other.
20  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Thoughts on Bernie Sanders on: Aug 06, 2015, 06:30AM

Eisenhower perspectives:

Eisenhower himself deserves a good deal of credit for this economic growth. He found the right combination of low taxes, balanced budgets, and public spending.

[/quote]


"Back in the 1950s, when the top marginal tax rate was more than 90 percent, real annual growth averaged more than 4 percent.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06/20/249061/chart-taxes-economic-growth/

The "low taxes" in the fifties were on the middle class, not on the wealthy or corporations. THe top brackets paid 90%, and 33% of federal revenue in the 50's came from corporate taxes. That number today is 8%. It was Reagan who destroyed the balance and shifted the tax burden from the top and corporations onto the middle class. Doug has it right. Bernie Sanders is far closer to Ike than any of today's Republicans, or even the Clintons, are.
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